Chessboard Diplomacy: Israel Beats Egypt at Chess Olympiad

Victory comes during first matchup between two countries in 27 years; Egypt beat Israel in 1981 friendly game in Cairo.

Israel's national chess team defeated Egypt last night 2.5-1.5 at the biennial Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany in the teams' first matchup in 27 years. In 1981, Egypt defeated Israel in a friendly game in Cairo.

Boris Gelfand, Israel's top-ranked player and currently 20th in the world, won his match, as did teammate Boris Avruch.

Israel's team, ranked eighth in the world, currently has six points, having tallied two wins and two draws in its first four rounds. The team is considered a medal contender, though not a favorite.

Meanwhile, Israel's women's team defeated Bosnia 3-1 for its third win in four rounds. Earlier in the tournament, the Israeli women beat the United States team, one of the favorites for the title.

1270 chess players are taking part at the Olympiad, 722 of them are men who play in 146 teams, 548 of them are women and play in 111 teams. In addition, 257 team captains and 120 arbiters take part.